Connect-ED



Connect-ED Alert System

Connect-ED allows us to communicate with members of the College community in case of an emergency. It is a vital component of our emergency response plan. Connect-ED enables administrators to communicate directly via email, voice message or text message with students, parents, staff and others in an emergency.

Students sign up for emergency notification when they fill out their emergency contact form; for first-year students and transfers, during Orientation. Due to privacy issues, students must provide their own personal information, including contacts to be notified via Connect-ED in case of emergency.

If you would like to receive emergency notifications via Connect-ED, please make sure your student has your emergency contact information to enter into the system. Please discuss notification issues with your student, who can then list your contact information on the emergency form. Only your student can make changes to the contact information in his or her Connect-ED form. These changes can be made at any time.

What types of situations will call for use of this system and how will the College determine when to use this system?

This system will only be used to communicate in a time of true emergency. It is difficult to predict exactly what those might be, but some examples are situations in which the safety of our campus community is at risk, such as a fire, a tornado or an intruder.

If I get an alert that there is a crisis at the College, whom should I call for more information?

The College will try to provide a source for additional information when it is available. For example, you may be directed to the College's website, or to check your email for follow-up information. Please remember that during an emergency, the safety of our campus community members will be our primary concern, and any use of Connect-Ed will initially address that constituency.

How will I tell the difference between a crisis alert from the College and other text messages/emails I get in any given day?

Email messages will appear with the subject line "Connecticut College Emergency" or "Connecticut College Emergency Update." The text sender will appear as sms@blackboardconnect.com

Can I opt out of the system?

The College believes it serves all of the campus community best by facilitating our communications capabilities during times of emergency. Therefore we highly encourage participation in the Connect-ED emergency response program. If your student wishes to opt out of receiving emergency communications, he/she may do so on the emergency contact form.

I’ve heard these types of systems crash during an emergency. What kind of guarantees is the College going to make that I will actually receive notification of an emergency?

The College has worked to build technology redundancies into the system on its end and Connect-ED has a number of remote locations with redundant technology on its end. The best way to ensure you receive an emergency notification is to provide as many different types of contact information as you can, including phone, cell phone, email and text messaging information.

How frequently will the College use this system? Will the College use this system for other types of messages besides crisis alert, such as for snow cancellations?

While the College may test the system from time to time, at present, the College has determined that Connect-ED emergency messages will only be sent during times of emergency, when campus safety is at risk. The College does not plan to use this system to communicate snow cancellations as there is already a snow cancellation communication plan in place.

How fast will I get a message if there is a crisis? Is there a time difference between when an email, text message or phone message gets sent? Which one will the College send first?

The College has taken a multi-layered approach to emergency communications to ensure its best efforts can be achieved in warning and informing people during an emergency. Some of the systems are internal to the College - office phones and email - and some of the systems are external, such as text messaging, cell phone calls, personal phone calls and personal email. The redundancy should result in a message reaching you, perhaps multiple times, during an emergency.

How will the privacy of my information be protected?

The College's privacy policies protect all student, staff and faculty private information. In addition, our contract for the use of Connect-ED prohibits that company from sharing any of your private information.

I am a parent of a student who never seems to fill out forms! Can I fill this one out myself?

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the College must receive contact information directly from students. Students sign up for emergency notification when they fill out their emergency contact form (on CamelWeb, the College's intranet); for freshmen, at Orientation. Due to privacy issues, students must provide their own personal information, including contacts to be notified via Connect-ED in case of emergency. Please discuss notification issues with your student, who can then list your contact information on the emergency form. Only your student can make changes to the contact information in his or her Connect-ED form.

How can I verify that my student has filled out the form and, if so, has done it correctly?

You will need to speak directly with your student to verify that he or she has filled out the form and to learn exactly what information your student has provided to the College. Students may update their emergency contact information at any time in CamelWeb (Connecticut College's intranet).